You have to admire the Productivity Commission.
If their job (at our expense) is to dream up ideas on how to make our lives more miserable, by cutting back in order to allegedly save the world, then they are doing an excellent job.
They have another report this week. This one has 77 recommendations, including taxing motor cars while making electric ones cheaper, and getting rid of a lot of farms and planting a lot of trees.
But here is the trouble with having an agency designed to come out with this sort of stuff: we don’t seem to draw a line between theory and reality.
We don’t differentiate between what we can do, or want to do, or are interested in doing, versus what’s written down in yet another report.
If we go back to the beginning, at the beginning is the simple truth that one, there is still much debate about climate, what to do, why to do it, and what sort of effect it would have.
And two, the fact we, in the grand scheme of things, don’t make any significant contribution to the world’s worries because we are so fantastically small.
And three, even if we want to make changes, at what point do we draw the line between the upheaval required and the shambles it would create to do so?
In simple terms, are we prepared to wreck our economy and therefore standard of living merely to be seen to be doing our part?
This is where people like Federated Farmers get so upset and call the Productivity Commission myopic.
And this is where these reports are so wanting – they’re written from the viewpoint of having drunk the Kool-Aid.
The believers have the pens, it’s not about whether we have upheaval, just how much. And the risk they take in that approach is that most of us aren’t actually that convinced to start with.
You can’t, in an agricultural country, just give up huge swathes of farming.
Why? Because we will go broke.
As one disciple put it on the news this week, there are lots of things we can do for ourselves to help save the planet, like bike to work.
And give up flying.
And she said that like it was the same as having one less coffee a day.
Most people, the majority of people, aren’t, don’t, and won’t bike to work.
And no-one is giving up flying – part of the development of human kind is based on technological advancement, exploration, and expansion of knowledge.
Jumping on an aircraft has revolutionised the world. We’re not just giving that up, the suggestions are stupid. And yet that sadly is where the debate is.
Extremists and nutters are writing the headlines and offering the so-called answers, the rest of us more interested in simply getting on with life, and have left the discussion having been driven out of the room by the extremity and madness.